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Mini-cast 103: Celebrating EOM 2020

October is Employee Ownership Month and Bret Keisling celebrates four great EO companies: Weston & Sampson, Threaded Fasteners Inc., Urban Engineers, and DVL Group.


Mini-cast 103 Transcript

Bret Keisling: 00:07 Hello, my friends and welcome to the ESOP Mini-cast. Thank you so much for listening. My name is Bret Keisling and as it says on my business cards, I'm a passionate advocate for employee ownership.

Bret Keisling: 00:18 There are many serious things going on in our country right now and I'll talk very briefly about a little bit of that at the end of the episode. But first there's a spring in my step and a sparkle in my voice because October is Employee Ownership Month. So I'm going to spend some time today amplifying and celebrating some great employee owners and their companies.

Bret Keisling: 00:41 Social media is filled with what the great ESOPs, co-ops, and collectives are doing to celebrate employee ownership and especially their employee owners. So today I'm going to briefly highlight four great employee owned companies who caught my eye on social media. Before I begin, if you're doing something cool for Employee Ownership Month, share it on social media and if you tag either me or the podcast, I'd love to give you a shout out on a future episode. You'll hear how to reach us at the end of this episode.

Bret Keisling: 01:14 One of the great employee owned companies that caught my eye on social media is Weston & Sampson. It's a great employee owned firm that offers interdisciplinary design, engineering, and environmental services that make the world a better place. Innovative and reliable they work to improve the communities where you live, work, and play, and they've done so for more than a century. For Employee Ownership Month, among other things they're doing, Weston & Sampson have created videos of their employee owners talking about why employee ownership is so important to them.

Bret Keisling: 01:52 The first video features Kim, the marketing director, and in 30 seconds she discusses the company culture, including its family-friendly environment. The video is great, and I'm looking forward to seeing the others they're going to roll out this month in the series.

Bret Keisling: 02:09 As we all know, one of the benefits of employee ownership is that it tends to minimize staff turnover and to that end, congratulations to Kim, the marketing director who just celebrated her 31st anniversary with the company!

Bret Keisling: 02:25 Next up Threaded Fasteners, Inc. is a 100% employee owned company that, as their name suggests, manufactures and distributes nuts and bolts and other fasteners for just about every industry. You probably see or travel near their products all the time. These are the fasteners that hold our bridges together. They keep utility and cell tower standing. Their website has all of their industries and some really cool pictures of their products in use.

Bret Keisling: 02:53 For Employee Ownership Month, they celebrated with perhaps the most quintessential of EO celebrations; they served pie to all of their employee owners. This is a delicious and meaningful reminder that all employee owners share in the pie, in the company's results.

Bret Keisling: 03:11 As I said on Twitter, I hope to find myself in Alabama sometime next year, after the pandemic, and I want to hand-deliver pie to the employee owners at Threaded Fasteners.

Bret Keisling: 03:22 They also get major, extra credit bonus points. When you go to their website, a big "100% employee owned" company logo sits right at the top. And if you love employee ownership at your company, there is no easier way than to tell the world than to have it be prominently displayed on your website.

Bret Keisling: 03:46 Next I'd like to talk about Urban Engineers. They're also a multidisciplinary engineering firm, specializing in design, environmental, and construction support services. Its headquarters are in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and they have 15 offices spread all across the country. They're celebrating Employee Ownership Month in a really cool way that I can't recall seeing before. They've created an ESOP educational campaign highlighting the journey of an urban worker bee. That's right, bee as in honeybee. All of their really cool videos, for example a short one describing their vesting, are all centered around the worker bees.

Bret Keisling: 04:29 It's fresh fun and does a great job of ESOP education. And on their website, you can see some really cool engineering projects that they've been involved in.

Bret Keisling: 04:40 Moving on - DVL Group is a great employee owned company that provides project management and services to reduce disruption, risks, and costs for your mission critical systems. They're involved with IT Infrastructure, power distribution, switch gear controls, chiller systems, monitoring generators, et cetera. For Employee Ownership Month, they just loaded a great new video on YouTube that features their associates, all employee owners, talking about what employee ownership means to them. It's a great video and I'd recommend it to everyone. And if you're a shareholder in a company considering employee ownership, I think the video will show you how EO can change your company for the better. We'll include a link to the DVL video in our show notes.

Bret Keisling: 05:28 Last year, October, 2019 for Employee Ownership Month, I visited the Harrisburg Pennsylvania office of the DVL group and delivered pie to the employee owners there. Coincidentally, Urban Engineers has an office in central Pennsylvania that's so close to my home I drive by it multiple times a day. Although I won't travel to Alabama at this time, I'm going to reach out to urban engineers and see if they'll allow me to bring them some pie for Employee Ownership Month.

Bret Keisling: 05:54 Thank you so much for celebrating EOM with me here on the Mini-cast. As I said, if you or your company or someone you know is doing something cool, tag us on Twitter, we'd love to talk about it.

Bret Keisling: 06:07 I want to turn serious for just a moment on our primary ESOP/EO Podcast. We're in the midst of a multi-part series called "Where is EO?" My premise is that at this important moment in our nation's history, EO is essentially missing from the public discussion. I hope you'll check out the series and give us some feedback. You can get the series and all of our archives at or wherever you get your podcasts. As I record this episode, the United States has lost more than 212,000 people to the coronavirus. We're all in this together, and that's how we'll get through it, together. But in the meantime, for goodness sake, just wear a mask.

Bret Keisling: 07:00 This is Bret Keisling. Thanks for listening.

Bitsy McCann: 07:04 We'd love to hear from you! To contact us, find us on Facebook at KEISOP, LLC and on Twitter @ESOPPodcast. To reach Bret, with one "T", email, on LinkedIn at Bret Keisling, and most actively on Twitter at @EO_Bret. Again, that's one "T". This podcast has been produced by The KEISOP Group, technical assistance provided by Third Circle, Inc. and BitsyPlus Design. Original music composed by Max Keisling, archival podcast material edited and produced by Brian Keisling, and I'm Bitsy McCann.

Standard Disclaimer: The views expressed herein are my own and don't represent those of my own firms or the organizations to which I belong. Nothing in the podcast should be construed as guidance or advice of any kind in any field and the fact that I mentioned an organizational website or an advocate or a company on a podcast does not reflect an endorsement, but if you've heard your name or your group's name mentioned on this podcast, I'd love to have you come on and talk about it yourself.

A note on the transcript: This transcript was produced by Temi, an automated transcription service. While it has been reviewed by The ESOP Podcast, we can not guarantee the accuracy of the transcription. Please refer to the original audio when citing sources.


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